WWA trains women workers
Women Workers Alliance (WWA) Sialkot is working on women rights and empowerment. Through the EWAM project, WWA conducted 2 meetings with Social Welfare Departments for formation of anti-harassment committees at workplaces. It was observed by WWA that in most NGOs’ offices there no harassment committee established for complaint mechanism. The notification of formation of harassment committees in all NGOs’ offices provided a platform to working women to issue their complaints.
Before notification of establishment of harassment committees, there was no platform for women within the organization. Prior to project intervention, the working women didn’t know about the need to form anti-harassment committee and the social welfare office did not share such instructions with NGOs of Sialkot. In the WWA meeting, the issue was discussed that working women in NGOs of Sialkot have no idea on how to deal with the issue of harassment. WWA members started advocacy campaign for formation of anti-harassment committees at their workplaces. After advocacy meetings with line departments, it was expected that the working women would use these committees to highlight the issues they face.
Due to the issuance of notification letter, all NGOs formed anti-harassment committees in their offices which will have a long-lasting impact for worker women. The social welfare office is working for women as well because of which they feel empowered by being part of these committees.
WWA is working on women rights in liaison with all stakeholders since they have strong relations with local working women. After notification of this letter, WWA members visited all active NGOs’ offices for follow up on establishment of harassment committees in their offices.
It is perceived as a very good initiative for working women since now they can discuss their issues comfortably.
The constitution of anti-harassment committees in the offices of CBOs and NGOs is a positive step on part of the Social Welfare Department. All the CBOs and NGOs are also directed to display the ToRs at prominent places in the offices. The CBOs and NGOs, who constituted the anti-harassment committees, also gave orientation to all its workers on the ToRs for maximum awareness of the workers, especially female workers. Through this step, all the workers got familiar with the working of the committees, and the female workers felt protected at the workplaces. as a worker feeling secured at workplace that we have a body/authority to support in any type of issue and problem face.
Ms. Nuzhat Imran, a social worker stated that it was a very good step for her office’s staff as well as the organization since female staff now feel more secure after formation of the anti-harassment committee. She also added that the formation of a body to cater to their concerns is a welcome development.